Fumio Kishida was inaugurated Monday as Japan’s new prime minister in an extraordinary parliamentary session After winning the primaries of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Kishida’s appointment was formally ratified in a vote in both houses, where the ruling coalition has a large majority., succeeds Yoshihide Suga, who in the previous hours resigned in a bloc with his cabinet after just over a year at the helm of the executive branch.
The new prime minister intends to announce the formation of his government in the coming hours, as he is expected to head more than a dozen portfolios for the first time and hold key positions.In search of some stability in the face of the impending general elections.
Kishida, who comes from a Hiroshima political family, was elected head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party last Wednesday, beating Taro Kono, head of the popular vaccination campaign.
Given that the ruling Democratic Liberation Party’s coalition enjoys a large legislative majority, Kishida was assured of a vote in Parliament to become the head of government of the world’s third largest economy.
Before the vote, Kishida said he was ready to take the position.
“I think it will be a new beginning in the true sense.”He told reporters. “I want to meet challenges with determination and firm determination for the future.”added.
– Few changes –
Kishida is considered a trustworthy figure, who is supported by his faction within the PLD party and is not believed to change the current government’s policies significantly.
His election came after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who resigned on Monday morning, announced that he no longer aspires to become the leader of the Democratic Liberation Party after just one year in office.
Kishida is due to present his new government on Monday afternoon, but details published by local media indicate that many important cabinet portfolios will remain in the hands of their current occupants.
Local media reported that they included Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.
The government is expected to include three women, including Seiko Noda, who aspires to lead the PLD and will be the minister responsible for tackling the decline in Japan’s birth rate.
Kishida will face many challenges, from trying to steer the economy in the post-pandemic era to countering military threats from North Korea and China.
He will also lead the Democratic Liberation Party in the general elections scheduled for November, although local media reported on Monday that Kishida wants to hold it on October 31.
The ruling party and its coalition partners are expected to retain power in that election, but could lose some seats due to public anger over the government’s response to the coronavirus.
The popularity of the Suga government has fallen sharply as it struggled to contain waves of COVID-19 infections, including a record outbreak during the Tokyo Games last July.
In his campaign to lead the PLD, Kishida stressed his plans to right the government’s wrongdoing with the pandemic, and vowed to push for new economic stimulus.
(with information from the EFE and AFP)